The Pulse Compiled by Adam Miller
The way I see it | By Christa Bosenberg
Christa Bosenberg served as a NAMB summer missionary at the Mission Centers of Houston, Texas. This is what she saw.
I saw a lot of things I’ve never seen before. A homeless woman bathing her face and arms in a spigot. A man digging through a dumpster for something to salvage.
I saw shoes slung over power lines meaning a crack house was nearby.
I saw kids, both dirty kids and clean kids, starving for love, wanting to be touched, needing to be noticed.
I saw a woman take pieces of clothing I’d laughed at thinking, “who would wear that?” I saw God’s faithfulness as our clothing closet dwindled to nothing, then grew again with donations at our door.
I saw guard dogs at almost every house and bars on almost every door and window, a man with a box of cash run across the street with a gun in his hand, the joy on the face of a 9-year-old girl after I taught her how to jump rope backwards, and the true gratitude on a woman’s face as I placed food in her hands.
I saw God’s heart for the people we often don’t see—the untouchables—and how the Baptist Mission Centers meet every need they possibly can, the most important being the spiritual need for the daily strength and hope that these people can only find in Jesus.
This summer, I saw my expectations of missions blown out of the water. I saw what Jesus would be doing if He lived down here with us today. I saw that a few weeks out of my summer can change lives and the way I see the world.
Pray for mission teams
As World Changers repair homes, PowerPlant participants survey communities and thousands of other Southern Baptists enter the flow of summertime missions traffic, pray for safety, courage, focus, perseverance and true worship. Missions experiences grow everyone, from middle schoolers to missions veterans. Pray for unity, patience and open minds. And pray that many would hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Pray for Haiti
As Haitians rebuild homes and lives, pray for revival in the island nation struck by a life-shattering earthquake earlier this year. Volunteer teams and aid, including that from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, continue pouring into Port-Au-Prince and surrounding areas, and everyone involved needs continued prayer during this long-term relief and recovery effort.
Pray for SBC
Pray for the Southern Baptist Convention and its leaders as they help shape our work in fulfilling the Great Commission. Pray for wisdom, health, strong families and greater insight into God’s will for Southern Baptists and the global Church.
Exploring God’s Call | By Jami Becher and Mickey Noah
“A recent church retreat opened my eyes to what my brothers and sisters in other countries are going through,” says Paul Coogle, a sophomore at Dodge County High School in Eastman, Georgia. “It broke my heart. It was like God told me to go to a closed country like China, Iraq or Iran. I have a passion to go somewhere and do something. I just don’t know where.”
Moses saw a burning bush. A blinding light stopped Saul in his tracks. Fishermen heard a call from the shore and dropped their nets. God’s call in these men’s lives was supernaturally obvious. But when your average high school student hears a still small voice how does she know for sure it’s a call from God?
How can I know God’s will? How can I know what He wants me to do? Where do I begin? These are the questions facing Paul Coogle and many others as they answer God’s call to ministry. “I felt a call,” Paul says. “I needed to come to KALEO to nail it down.”
Paul and 10 other students from First Baptist-Eastman made the one-hour drive north to Macon, Georgia, for a two-day KALEO conference. They heard from experienced, proven ministry leaders—including a seminary president, a seminary professor, senior pastors, missionaries, campus ministers and representatives of NAMB, the International Mission Board and the Georgia Baptist Convention—about how to explore and pursue a call from God to ministry leadership.
KALEO is more than just a weekend event; it’s an ongoing network that connects the recently called to those with ministry experience. It focuses on three areas: networking, personal development—including coaching and mentoring—and experience.
“Just like major league sports franchises, the KALEO Network serves as a farm system for the next generation of Southern Baptist leadership,” says Donald King, KALEO coordinator and events director for NAMB in Alpharetta, Georgia. “And just like any sports team, the Southern Baptist Convention needs a strong and deep bench. With KALEO, it is developing one.”
To find out more about the KALEO Network visit www.KALEOnetwork.com or call 1-888-554-7729.
Big Truths for Young Hearts (Crossway, 2009) by Bruce Ware is not just for our children. It’s a book that teaches as it teaches how to teach. Confused? Read this book and you’ll be no longer. We benefit in this small volume both from Ware’s scholarship and fatherhood. His daughters vouch for the latter in the foreword. His very readable writing vouches for the rest and could strengthen or revolutionize how you teach the gospel to the children (and adults) in your life.
The Marks of the Messenger (IVP, 2009) by J. Mack Stiles explains how to know, live and speak the gospel. He has lived the life of a healthy evangelist among Kenyans, Koreans, Arabs and North Americans and he wants to teach others to do the same. In Marks of the Messenger Stiles presents a four pronged strategy for reaching those around you for Christ; present a gospel that is bigger than your personal tastes, venture beyond conventional conversation, distinguish God’s love from worldly love and learn how to make your message visible through community. —Jami Becher
It Starts At Home (Moody, 2010) by Kurt Bruner and Steve Stroope provides a guide for parents to create an environment for knowing God. “The home is the primary context of our spiritual formation—for better or worse,” they write. “Twenty-first century leaders face a new challenge. In short, we are losing many of our own kids to the world even while trying to win the unchurched to Christ.” By helping parents understand the importance of strengthening their marriage and then guiding them in understanding the minds and spiritual lives of children, Bruner and Stroope create a thoughtful, practical manual for “nurturing lifelong faith.”
Fliers in the face of doubt | By Adam Miller
The commitment of Living Branch Community Fellowship in Englewood, Colorado, might have saved a man known as John. He left a mysterious message for church members thanking them for leaving a flier on his door. He described how it caused him to think about his life and he talked about how he believed in Jesus, but had fallen into sin.
John received one of nearly 600 Find it Here door hangers that Living Branch Fellowship distributed the week before Easter to a cluster of apartments. The effort was part of Southern Baptists’ nationwide “GPS: Across North America” initiative.
As pastor Steve Scott and the church’s ministry team listened to the message, John’s tone turned desperate. Speaking of “knowing what he needed to do,” it was obvious he meant to harm himself. But without a phone number or address, the church was helpless. Or so they thought.
“So we did what we could,” Scott said. “We prayed.”
Trusting God with the outcome, the church shared John’s phone call as a prayer request during a revival service that night. The next morning, John called back and left another message, leaving his phone number this time. The church was able to contact John and share with him the love, forgiveness and hope found in Christ Jesus. John attended the church’s men’s breakfast the next morning and shared with them, “The door hanger saved my life!”
An estimated 15 million pieces of literature were distributed in neighborhoods throughout the U.S. and Canada as Southern Baptists fanned out across their communities the week before Easter. Prior to that, congregations prayerwalked neighborhoods near their church.
“Based on what we’re hearing from our partners, GPS has gotten off to an amazing start,” Frank Page, vice president for Evangelization at NAMB said of the 10-year evangelism effort. “The stories we’re hearing of how God worked are reason for celebration. I’m confident the gospel seeds that were sown these last few weeks will bring a harvest to Southern Baptist churches that we’ve not seen in many years.”
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC